Councils launch website to promote digital transformation in NW

A new website has been launched to promote the development of a digital transformation plan for the North West City Region.

Developed by the ERNACT network, the website will facilitate information to interested parties
about digital transformation, with an emphasis on the various initiatives and action plans in the cross-border area.

Derry City and Strabane District Council Mayor Graham Warke and Donegal County Council Cathaoirleach, Jack Murray launched the website this week, along with ERNACT’s General Manager Colm McColgan.

He says recent developments at Ulster University and the Atlantic Technological University are very significant………

Release in full –

Derry City and Strabane District Council Mayor, Alderman Graham Warke, and Donegal County
Council Cathaoirleach, Jack Murray, have launched a new website to assist promote the
development of a digital transformation plan for the City Region.
Developed by the ERNACT network, the website will facilitate information to interested parties
about digital transformation in general, the various initiatives and action plans underway, and
provide updates on news and events taking place in the cross-border area.
Like many other European regions, local authorities and universities in the North West Ireland City
Region, supported by their regional authorities, have been taking steps to ensure that business,
communities and society are ready to face the huge changes being brought about with advances in
digital technology. This includes cross-border cooperation to increase investment and innovation in
digital research by our higher education institutions and initiatives such as the Donegal Digital action
plan and the EU Intelligent City Challenge programme by the local authorities.
The launch takes place during a 2-days study visit to the city region by other European regions and
cities. The study visit is part of the Interreg Europe funded CARPE DIGEM project, in which ERNACT
represents the Derry & Strabane and Donegal councils. CARPE DIGEM is primarily about how to
create functioning and sustainable Digital Innovation Ecosystems (DIGEMs) in regions considered to
be outside the digital, economic and social core of Europe, traditional 'receivers' of innovation and
change. The project is examining how the partnership in close collaboration with their regional
public, private and community stakeholders, can better communicate and engage their regions in
improving strategies for digital transformation, predicting and developing new skills and
competencies for the future. CARPE DIGEM provides an opportunity for this cross-border region to
more coherently communicate its efforts and to consolidate and develop activities that add value on
a cross-border axis.
The two Mayors also welcomed visiting politicians from the County of Nièvre in Burgundy (France)
and Madeira (Portugal) whose regions are also partners in the CARPE DIGEM project. Members of
the ERNACT board, appointed by Donegal County Council and Derry City and Strabane District
Council, also participated in the launch of the new website.
Commenting on the website launch, Donegal County Council Cathaoirleach, Jack Murray, stated that
“this new website has been developed with the aim of promoting the development of a digital
transformation plan for the City Region. We are fortunate to have high calibre businesses and
universities in the North-West Ireland City Region and it is important that businesses and

ERNACT – North West City Region press release
communities are ready to face the rapid advancements in technology and digitalisation. It is great to
welcome delegates from other European regions to the North-West City region and also our
counterparts from France and Portugal whose regions are also partners in the CARPE DIGEM project.
During the 2-day visit our ‘Remote working Strategy for Donegal’ was presented to delegates aiming
to promote Donegal and the North-West City Region nationally and internationally as a superb
location for remote workers.”
Derry City and Strabane District Council Mayor, Alderman Graham Warke, added: “We are delighted
to be part of this joint initiative aimed at promoting and showcasing digital transformation. We
strongly support any initiative that improves the way we communicate and develop new skills and
strategies that will in turn increase investment and innovation in our region. It was great to meet
with Mayors from France and Portugal today to hear at first-hand about the benefits of collaboration
and the strong working relationship that exists between all partners in this digital transformation
journey.”

 

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